Fine art student and freelance writer from Paris, living in London.
A must-see exhibition
David Hockney is an artist who has been recognised since his first sketches in the 1960s, while he was still a student at the Royal College of Art. This exhibition at Tate Britain offers a great variety of his paintings, drawings, photographs and videos, classified by eras and styles. David Hockney always tried to paint reality with a precise sense of detail. One can see his ability to capture the transparency of water or glass in the paintings "Peter Getting Out of Nick's Pool, 1966" or "Study of Water, Phoenix, Arizona". He also worked on a series of still life portraits and landscapes, where he created a naturalistic rendering of depth, contrasts and light.
In the beginning of the exhibition, we see that David Hockney worked in the 1960s on naturalistic portraits. I was very impressed by the painting "Mr. and Mrs. Clark and Percy, 1970-71." The faces are incredibly realistic, highlighting Hockney's talent for drawing and his ability to grasp the smallest details of everyday life.
In the 1980s, David Hockney began using photography in a "Cubist" way. With a Polaroid, he created portraits from several shots made from different angles. The result is a recomposed "grid" image, like for "Billy Wilder and Wife, 1982".
His work in the 1990s focuses mainly on landscapes with vivid colours, which remind me of Fauvism, like "Canvas study of the Grand Canyon".
More recently, he also used several cameras on his car to record different views of the same road, in "The Four Seasons Project". Each season is presented on a wall of the room: this gigantic project is incredible, very poetic and innovative, I liked it very much.
The use of the iPad has also become a habit for the artist, almost replacing his sketchbook! The exhibition ends with the presentation of videos of the drawings that David Hockney made with it. It feels like a master drawing lesson, like Picasso drawing in the movie "The Mystery of Picasso" by Henri-Georges Clouzot, where you see him paint! Like many people in this last room, I could not stop looking at his work. David Hockey's art symbolises an apparent simplicity, which actually hides an incredible talent that unfortunately is not given to everyone. Go quickly see this unique exhibition, which finishes on May 29th.